tv Earth Focus LINKTV March 20, 2017 7:30am-8:01am PDT
>> today, on "earth focus," killing dolphins and dying for lobsters. an original investigation exposes dolphin slaughter in peru, and filmmakers ununcover the human cost of lobster diving in nicaragua. comingng up on "earth fofocus." >> lima is one of the largest cities in south america, the capital of peru and the heart of its fishing industry.
i'm statanding in onene of half a dozen fish markets that dot across lima in peru. behind me here are dozens of species of fish, but one of these dishes, toyo, or shark, is particularly popular. caught in huge numbers around the peruvian coast, this shark dish is coming at a cost,t, say environmentalists, a cost to dolphins. they claim that every year thousands of dolphins are being butchered illegalally out a at a in order to catch these sharks. we're going to go and find out. one environmentalist worried about the dolphins is marine biologist stefan austermuhle. >> the pacific ocean in front ofof the peruvian coast isis the m most bioproductive on in the world. we are catching here 10% of the world's fish catch. that means thehere's a lot of fd around in form of anchovovies
and other small pelagic fish. and where there's a lot of food, all the guys ththat eat that fod will come by and have their part. and that means we have e here more than wh--uh, 30 species of whales and dolphins. the fact that dolphins are killed in shark fisheries here in peru is an open secret in the entire industry. everybody that works in the fishing industry knows it. all the government representatives know it. anand even the ngos woworking in the ocean, they know it. but nobody talks about it, because you can't prove it. how do you want to prove something that appears-- that happens tens or hundreds of miles offshore that you have never even seen? >> we were introduced to a former fisherman who agreed to speak openly about the hunting of dolphins. >> [speaking spanish]
in the middle of peru. this is where we've arranged to meet the long-liner fishing boat that's going to take us out for the next week out into the pacific ocean. in exchange for payment towards fuel costs and on strict condition of anonymity, we managed to gain access onto a shark fishing boat. once on board, the captain agreed to an interview, but only if we concealed his identity. >> [speaking spanish]
>> if we kill an animal to eat it, a cow or a pig or something like this, we have very strong regulations. the animal has to be killed within very few seconds. but if you have an animal, and you get a harpoon rammed into it, and have it then struggling for 10 or 15 minutes on a line to get weak and to bleed out slowly... and then you lift it on board, and you cut into the living animal, a still living animal, with a knife, in order to cut deep into it, around the neck and have it bleed to death, that's not humane. that's not a humane killing. that is cruel, very painful, and a very long deatath.
>> these sharks are the catch after fishing for one day, using the dolphin as bait. traveling back to lima, i wanted to talk to people who knew more about the hunt. i showed my footage to stefan austermuhle, who works for the conservation group mundo azul, which first spoke out about the hunting of dolphins in peru a decade ago.
>> we have been hearing for many, many years now, from basically every fisherman we talk to, that, uh, in anany fishing trip for sharks, up to 4 to 5 dolphins are gettingng killed. so, make your r math-- that's 5,000, 15,000 dolplphins per year, dedepending on how many, uh, shipping g trips you're-- you're counting. >> thehe killing o of dolphins in peru has also caught the attention of scientists throughout the w world. in recent decades, studies have tried to track the dolphin deaths, both accidental and deliberate. >> there are 15, 20,000 dolphins and porpoises being killed per year in peru, which is a globally significant--it's a huge number of dolphins anand porpoises, along the coast of peru, still l dying, anand th--that's what we believe is happening to this day. we're talking serious impact on dolphins and porpoises. >> the dolphin that was killed in your footage is a dusky dolphin.
that's an offshore population. these are dolphins that live in groups. they can travel in groups of 3, and they can travel in groups of a thousand or more animals. and they travel all the time behind the big fish swarms, and they hunt on the fish. they're very fast swimmers. and, accocording to science, their population is threatened. >> how do you feel, knowing that these dolphins are being killed in huge numbers simply for shark bait? >> knowing g at dolphinins are killed in s such numbers for shahark bait is just crazy. it's driving me crazy, because you k kill one top predator in order to kill another top predator, so you take away y all the top predators. so you change entirely the balance of the ecology in the ocean, because the role, the function of these top predators-- sharks and dolphins alike, they're a team here, they keep the ocean healthy. they catch the old, the sick fish,
and they keep the fish population healthy. if you don't do that anymore, you will get diseases, you will get all kind ofof negative effects, and, basically, you're killing the resources the fishermen need. >> but the fishermen aren't only using dolphins for bait. some of the meat ends up being sold alongside fish. >> some of that meat comes back for human consumption, but then it's hidden under fish, or in sacks, and no official observer would see that on the pier. so i it's a well-organized smuggling system for-- forr human consumption. nowadays, dolphin meat is the cheapest meat that you can find on the market. a kilo of dolphin meat is sold for about 4 soles-- that is a about $1.60 for an entire kilo of meat. you will find it only on the markets where the p poore people inin peru go shopping, and it'ss a cheap source of protein.
>> other f fishermen we spoke t, however, suggest that dolphin huntnting doesn't take place. filiberto sanchez dias workrks for the artisanal fishereries association. >> [speaking spanish] >> i am surprised to hear that they claim they don't know it happens, because, you know, th--there's a lot of published literature in the scientific community, as welell as, um, non-government groups. there's no way that anybody can deny this is happening. the proof is there, the photograph, the film, um, it--it's all there. >> there are, at the last count, in 2010, over 500 boats like the one we traveled on for a week. if, as the testimonies we've recorded are true, on each trip they kill
an average of 2, 3 dolphins, and they're doing over a dozen trips each year. that means thousands, thousands of dolphins being killed to be used as shark bait. >> if you kill animals at this level, it's going to have a severe impact on their numbers. and i--i fear for dolphins and porpoises in peru. i really do. i think it's--it's decades now of impact at this level, so, um, i think that itit--it's urgent. we need to take action now to secure their future, definitely. >> 1,600 miles north of peru, in nicaragua, another industry, lobster fishing, is causing harm to both the environment and people.
in their film "my village, my lobster," filmmakers josh wolff and brad allgood capture the e untold story of lobster tails. >> "my village, my lobster" is a one-hour documentary about indigenonous miskito lobsbster diversrs along nicaragua's miskito coast, who risk their lives diving for the region's most lucrative resource, the caribbean spiny lobster. commercial lobster diving in nicaragua and honduras is one of the most dangerous jobs in the w world. they dive to depths that are unsafe, they do not follow safe d diving practices, and the gear that they use does not allow them to--to dive safely.
>> commercial fishining for caribibbean spiny lobststeri a multimillion-dollllar industr. half of the lobster caught in central america, worth about $28 million annnnually, comes from fishermenen in one couountry--nicacaragua. >> along nicaragagua'ss caribbean coastst, lobster divig is ththe largesest industry, so there's a financicial incentive for them to dive for lobster. right now, lobster divers are making somewhere between $2.50 to $3.50 per pound of lobster tail that they catch. and there are few other economic opportunities for miskito indians along the coast, and there's not a lot ofof educational and professional opportunities, uh, as well. >> there uused to be so many lobsters that y you could walk out into the sea and just f--fish them out by hand. and then the commercialization of lobster diving was introduced, and that sped up, you know, the depletion of the lobster stock closer to shore, and it's just moving
deeper, and deeper, and deeper. and that, in turn, is causing these instces of decompression sickness, because these men are diving deeper, and they're staying out for longer periods of time. >> when divers get the bends at sea, their onlyly hope isis to be rusushed to shohore. there, they receive emergency treatmtment in nicaragua'a's only hyperbaric chamber. if they don't receive treatment quickly, the chchances of p paralysis and permanent injury are almost certain. >> [speaking spanish] >> for pica, an injured diver, it was this rapid treatment in the chamber that saved his life in 2007. >> [speaking miskito]
>> trtreatment in the e chamber is not an end-a-all solution for injurured divers.s. it can reverse some of the acute symptoms of decompression sicknessss, but divers' limbs are rendered unusable without physical therapy, that can last for months or even years. >> a lotot of times divers don't get the--the physical theherapy that they neeeed, and t they don't get ththe medical care that they need to either recover oror to prevent
>> since the early nineties, over 90% of ththe lobsterr caught in nicararagua has been exported to the uned states,s, and sold via distributors like the sysco corporation, the largest food service distributor in north america. >> since over 90% of the lobster that's caught in n nicaragugua is s exported to the u.s. and consnsumed in the u.s., on a consumerer level, we can do a lot to incentivize the--the industry. never before have we been so farar from ththe sources
of our fofood, so i t think onone of our o objectives,s, onf our goals with this film was to educate viewers, to educate an a american audience about one source of our food, and the value chain or the supply chain behind that, which is, in this case, lobster. >> people often ask us, you know, what--- do--what do w we want the film to achieve, ultimately? what's the--the bigger message? i--i think it's a complicated question. i think, wh--when i go back and i think about my experiences on the coast and working with these people and being on the boats and--and seeing the level of suffering, uh, that some of the men experiencnce and thehe families s that exexperience i it, i thinknk the several ideas at----at play. one is a more--creating a more didiverse economy on thehe coas. i thinknk there can be a tourism industry within the--within that area, whether it's divinng, whether it's, uh, deep sea fishing, something that can be brought to the coast, and created, locally, that can help
create a more diverse, uh, economy for the workforce. >> because the lobster industry is the largest indndustry alalong the coast, the industry wields a lot of power. and until there's international pressure, or internal pressure, or private sector investment in alternatives, i don't think ththat--that lobsteter diving, commercial lobster diving, as it existts today, is going to end. >> internatational organizations have attempted to catalyze change in ththe region,, bringing together small-scale fishermen, commercial divers, the lobster industry, and government agencies to promote a conversion tto trappingng. but nearly all e efforts for industry reform have been met with strong resistance and lacack of incenentive to ch. >> [speaking spspanish]
03/20/17 03/20/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> justice scalia was a line of the law. agree or disagree with him, all of his colleagues on the bench cherished his wisdom and his humor. and like them, i miss him. amy: supreme court confirmation hearings again today for neil gorsuch. we will look at his record, what it means for workers, women, and voting rights. plus, we look back at his time as the student